Indian Army: Will be too late if work doesn’t begin on incorporating AI into armed forces’ system: General Rawat


NEW DELHI: Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat Friday pitched for incorporating artificial intelligence and big data into the armed forces’ system, and cautioned that many countries, including “some of our adversaries”, are spending “huge money” on this aspect of technology.

Addressing the Army Technology Seminar at Manekshaw Centre here, he said, it will be “too late” if we don’t start work on AI and big data.

“We have identified technologies that need to be incorporated (into our system),” he said.

“But, we also need to address, how can we incorporate AI and big data into our system. We can’t just leave them to be in military glossary,” Rawat said in the keynote address.

He said it was time to address the issue in a “significant manner”.

“We need to address, how can we incorporate AI and big data into our system. If we don’t start now, it will be too late.

“Countries around the world, including some of of our adversaries, are spending huge amounts of money on this aspect,” Rawat said.

The Army chief said the next revolution in military affairs will be defined by technology and innovations in technology.

Minster of State for Defence Shubhash Bhamre said leveraging of technology would be a “key determinant” in future warfare.

“Technology development has both challenges and opportunities, and it is is heralding a possibility of quantum leap in the nature of waging of war. Technology which were till yesterday only in the realms of science fiction could cause catastrophe tomorrow or even disrupt the international balance of powers,” he said.

He cautioned that the world was entering into an era, in which “supremacy” on sea, land, skies, space and cyberspace would be “defined by the technology differential of adversaries”.

Bhamre said Big data analytics, Internet of Things and AI will have major impact on way wars wills be fought in future.

Technology and associated innovations may fundamentally alter our long-standing concept of warfare, he added.

“Potential adversaries are seeking asymmetric capabilities to exploit vulnerabilities and upset our current advantages. So, we need to strengthen capabilities from human to cyberspace,” the minister said.

Bhamre said the government stood committed to Army’s quest for modernisation through optimum use of technology.

He also emphasised on synergising efforts of academia, defence establishments and various agencies, defence PSUs, MSMEs.

Rawat emphasised the need for partnering with industry to help the armed forces move forward in this direction.

Secretary, defence production, Ajay Kumar also mentioned about partnering with the industry to develop AI-based products for the armed forces.

He also said exports in defence sector has grown “very impressively” in the last three years.

Chairman, Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), G Satheesh Reddy also pitched for partnership with academia and industry to bring technological innovation and development in the sector.

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